The Brotherhood Fund began in 1931 when it was known as the "Bishop's Fund." Its initial purpose was to promote our movement outside North America and to enable Y's Men from other areas to attend International Conventions (always held in North America in those days).
Later it expanded to help finance inter-continental, inter-Regional and inter-Club visitations and to assist with the overseas travel expenses of International Officers and official representatives. Most income originally came from the sale of used postage stamps but was later augmented by cash contributions from local clubs. In 1968 the name was changed to "Brotherhood Fund" and a certain change took place in the ideas behind the fund.
As the name suggests, its purpose is to strengthen the brotherhood of Y's Men throughout the world, still partly by enabling Y's Men to attend Area and Regional Conventions but also by enabling them to visit distant Regions. Income has grown steadily from US$ 140 in 1936 to about US$ 200,000 today. Although most now comes from cash contributions, about 15% still comes from stamps.
As in the past, some support is given for International Officers' travels. And some money is given to the Areas for use within the Area in conformity with the general purpose of the Brotherhood Fund (club visitations, leadership training. etc.) as decided by the Area leadership and within a budget approved by the Brotherhood Fund Expenditures Committee (BFEC).
Some money is set aside annually for administration of the Fund and to support travel of youth, but the major part is used as grants for the "Brotherhood Fund Delegates.
Cultural Exchange Grants (formerly 'Full grants') are for delegates travelling to a different Area for club visitations, etc. Such delegates have to travel for a minimum of three weeks and are given a special task, for instance promotion of an International project or programme, in addition to fulfilling the general purpose of all Brotherhood Fund travels: to promote international understanding and to learn and inform others about Y'sdom in different parts of the world — in short to be "Ambassadors for Y'sdom."
International Convention Grants (formerly 'Partial grants') are for those who wish to attend an International or Area Convention only. Such delegates receive part of their expenses but do not have any obligation other than attendance at the Convention.